Monday, January 22, 2024

Super Short Sorta Non Post!

 I went on vacay to Cozumel, Mexico! I'll catch you this upcoming weekend!


Monday, January 15, 2024

On a January Day, 64 years Ago...

A quick post this week, as I'm packing for a cruise!

My wife and I bought a couple of storage units years ago, and one of them was very interesting. This was with some paperwork...

Yes, a Cotton Bowl ticket from January 1, 1960! The teams playing were the University of Texas Longhorns and the Syracuse Orangemen.

If you want to find our seat, the back has you covered...

Alas, Syracuse defeated our Longhorns, 23 to 14. 

I happened to find a picture of the program online. I really wish I had it instead of the ticket, since it's got really cool graphics! Oh well, 'twas not to be!

That's it for now! (Where did I put those cargo shorts?....)

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Monday, January 8, 2024

The Birth of Model Rocketry

 In 1957 a man by the name of G. Harry Stine was working at White Sands NM designing missiles. He would soon lose that position after having talked honestly to the press about what the Soviets launching Sputnik really meant for America (that if they could launch that, the ability to launch nukes wasn't far away). 

All was not lost, however. In his position he had found that many youths were wanting to fly their own rockets. Unfortunately, a safe, reliable method of doing so was yet to be invented, and several kids had gotten seriously hurt.

Enter Orville Carlisle. He dabbled in fireworks, and was able to use that experience to design a single use black powder rocket motor. This, coupled with a model rocket design where one could change out these motors when used, lead to the invention of the modern model rocket.

Orville wrote to Stine and sent him some samples and G. Harry convinced him to go into business making and selling these modern marvels under the Model Missiles, Inc name. 

Flash forward 50 years to 2007 and Harry's son, David just so happens to own his own model rocket company, Quest. To honor 50 years of model rocketry, Quest came out with a duplicate of MMI's product. I happened to buy one. Here it is!

The kit is a model of the Aerobee-Hi, a sounding rocket that G. Harry Stine had personal knowledge of.

The side of the box showing the parachute that made the model reusable.

The end of the box with the 50th Anniversary logo

Opening the box shows some pretty simple parts.

A cardboard tube, balsa wood fins and nose cone, and recovery system are about all there is. Oh...and decals.

Here is a copy of the original instructions. Again, pretty simple stuff.

If you don't want to just look at the pictures, the more detailed write up explains everything. 

Although those were probably needed in 1957 when no one had built a model rocket before, the picture is about all most people would need now.

And here are detailed instructions on how to actually fly the model. Again, these were vital in 1957.

These notes on weather still hold true. And although the Chinaman art work might not be particularly PC today, the advice is sound. These things can fly upwards to a mile high (with high power motors), after all!

MMI didn't last long. Within a year or so they sold out to a guy named Vern Estes who had invented a machine that could do what MMI couldn't- namely make motors quickly and safely enough to meet the huge demand! Vern's machine, "Mable," revolutionized model rocketry and Estes is still the largest manufacturer of model rockets in the world. 

By the way, Vern Estes turned 94 last week and is still going strong!

So there you go! You now know the back story to a hobby that defined the childhoods of millions of boomer kids!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Monday, January 1, 2024

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad....

 ...well you get the idea. This week I'm featuring a magazine that was part of just about every Boomer boy's life (no, not Boy's Life, although that one would count too). I'm talking about Mad Magazine!

I happened to buy a ton of old RC airplane and hot rod magazines years ago, and I stumbled across this in the middle of them. It's interesting (at least to me) because it's from March, 1973. That's three months before I went on my one and only (to this point) trip to Disneyland. Here it is!

The cover features The Planet of the Apes, which seems a little late until you realize that it's making fun of the sequels as well.

I just liked the inside of the cover for no real reason...

Here are the contents...

And the first page of the feature. Really what stuck out to me most of all is how the humor didn't hold up as well as I thought it would. Heck, when I was a kid, this stuff was gold, baby, GOLD!

This was probably the funniest thing in there to me now...

Spy vs Spy is always good for a chuckle...

As I said, there is a ton of more stuff in there, but a combination of the jokes no longer being relevant, and me being 50 years older has made it tough to plow through, I'm afraid. 

Still, it's a nice throwback to a simpler time that I just happened to stumble across. Maybe when I read it later with lowered expectations, I'll enjoy it more. We'll see.

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!